Chapter 745: Hit-and-Run

    Chapter 745: Hit-and-Run

    A glimmer of sapphire light clung to Occisus' point, but quickly spread to hang over its entire length. If one looked closely they would see the faintest hint of red that seemed to delineate between the blue and white.

    The farther it traveled the larger Occisus became, beginning at only a dozen meters or so to hundreds now. Anything unfortunate enough to be caught in its path was cut in half without thought. Tentacles that tried to block its path were severed, unable to stop the white sword from its single-minded purpose.

    Shhtk! The enormous Banishing Blade and all the murderous power it bore were buried in the progenitor's body, then through to the other side. When it emerged a block crystal was impaled on the tip. It was only a meter or so in diameter, but the vital energy that surged from it was startling.

    Occisus swung through the air, back to where it had come from. Meanwhile the giant creature overhead had begun to move. It struggled against Luo Xianni's control and was gaining ground.

    In a flash of light Occisus disappeared. Lan Jue and the Pharmacist were deposited back in the air. Both of them looked drawn from putting so much energy behind a single strike.

    Silver light emerged around the two of them and in a blink they were gone. The pink hue that hung over the area also dispersed, while a streak of pink light swept through the air. Back and forth it went three times across the sky until it vanished entirely.

    Aaaaagghhghhrrr! The roar from the herculean monster above rattled the earth. Its massive girth descended from the clouds as the beast vomited purple energy over the area. But there were no humans for it to accost. Still it was an impressive display, empowered through the veins connecting it to the progenitor.

    Time returned to normal. With a loud crash the progenitor collapsed to the ground with sprays of white energy leaping from its wounds. It sunk in on itself, caving under its own weight.

    The white light turned to blue, and though not as intense as its predecessor the surrounding aliens were choked with fear. It consumed the progenitor's corpse by degrees.

    The verti-car dashed through the air back in the direction of the human base. Everyone was on board.

    Lan Jue was in high spirits. "Using teleportation to run away is probably my most favorite thing."

    Perfection, that was how he would describe their mission. Luo Xianni's battlefield control had been seamless, leaving just enough time for Lan Jue and the Pharmacist to perform their task. Strong as the progenitor was, the Pharmacist was stronger. Frozen in place, all it could attempt was to try and resist their charge. It'd failed.

    If they'd attacked with technological weapons, it was unclear whether they'd have been able to pierce its defenses. But Occisus was no typical human weapon. With Captus' help and the All-Heaven Lightning the power was nearly god-like. In a blink they'd pierced to the monster's heart and stole away with its vital crystal.

    Although Lan Jue and the Pharmacist could not employ the Harmonious Swords, their combined might was still terrible to behold. It'd taken them practically no time to put down the progenitor, despite its strength.

    The silver light that had whisked them away in the moments following had, of course, been the Wine Master granting them succor. The second pink light was Luo Xianni. Against a Nirvana-level time-space master the behemoth's attacks had been pointless.

    The Clockmaker hadn't even had time to join the fight. She had been swept away to safety with Luo Xianni.

    Lan Jue's mother's voice reached his ears. "Run away my ass! This was a strategic retreat, don't open your mouth if you don't know what you're saying, you stinky brat!"

    "Right, I'm sorry..." Lan Jue hurriedly replied.

    Everyone was thrilled with the death of the progenitor. Its death was a great boon to the incursion team. At the very least they would no longer need to fear the corrosion seeping from the earth. The possibility existed than another progenitor was hiding somewhere, but it was unlikely to be as powerful as the last. Killing it had been a true victory.

    "Mom," he queried." Do you think the crystal we got from the progenitor could help you and father?"

    "From what I was able to sense it may have some use," she confirmed. "But at best it would heal the branch and not the root. 1 When we get back give it to your father. Let's see what he thinks."

    "Alright." It was the first time they'd encountered a vital crystal this potent. It was a priceless treasure, to be sure. They might have been able to get a few more from the monsters in the sky, but conditions were too unclear for them to try. They had to retreat for safety.

    "Admiral Lan, are you able to see any difference in Monteux's color from orbit?" Lan Jue opened a connection to his brother.

    "Were you successful?" He asked.

    Lan Jue replied. "The mission was victorious. There are a lot of aliens on the far side of the planet, and it was difficult to get a clear read on the whole situation. We won't be needed the air support."

    "We know。"

    "OhYou know?" Lan Jue said.

    "Two of our fleets went to the far hemisphere but were unable to find a concentration of aliens. I had them await further orders, but as far as we could tell the main force had moved on."

    Lan Jue's heart skipped a beat. "They aren't there? So what now?"

    Lan Qing went on. "I've already explained the situation to Admiral Kang Hui, we're waiting for his response. If my guess is correct this doesn't bode well for us. The alien home worlds may have already left. We're in the wrong place. We don't think they can transfer, but that doesn't mean they can't fly of their own accord, and fast. They could have fled while we were unable to get scout teams to put eyes on them."

    Lan Jue sucked in a breath of surprise. If his brother's determination turned out to be true, it would mean a great deal of trouble for them.

    From the time the planets had transferred into the North to the beginning of their assault, a good deal of time had passed. It'd taken half a month for the Alliances to gather forces and create a plan of attack. If the alien planets had completed their invasion and left, how far could they have gotten in half a month moving as fast as they could? And if they did but no one saw anything, what did that mean? It meant they had the ability to cloak themselves!

    "We need to confirm this immediately." Lan Jue said.

    Lan Qing agreed. "Yes. But right now we're still concerned with alien traps. We haven't been able to find the alien horde out here. We have to wait for more guidance from the Admiral. He's already told us to move in, move around the planets and take a look. We should know more soon."

    The elation they'd felt after killing the progenitor quickly faded. Lan Jue's voice was low. "Have you seen any change in Monteux's color?"

    "We're seeing it recede from up here," his brother responded. "Your team was successful."

    "Admiral, I request permission to put together a scout team, and move into enemy territory. The enemy blockade seems much lighter and we need to know if the alien planets are still in there."

    Lan Qing was quiet for a moment. "Be careful."


    The Paragons had listened in on the conversation and their moods had soured just as much as his had. If it was as expected, things had gone south. What was the enemy up to? So many aliens had been left aside, but the planets themselves? If they weren't here to evolve, then why? And where?

    Wherever they went, widespread devastation was sure to follow. If word got out it would undoubtedly lead to panic. All the planets would need to do is move through the North depositing progenitors, and the results would be catastrophic.

    The Driver didn't need prodding. He urged the verti-car to the fastest it would go and brought them back toward the base. Meanwhile Lan Jue was giving orders. He told the remaining Amazons to bring Zeus-1 over to pick them up. Jue Di was with them, so there was no need to fear for their safety. The other Paragons were left behind to assist the ground troops with retaking the planet.

    Zeus-1 arrived quickly and the verti-car slipped into its cargo bay. Once everyone was aboard the sapphire ship pointed its nose toward space and fired its engines.

    The Blinding Stone was activated and Zeus-1 vanished into the darkness of space. Lin Guoguo kept them hidden beneath a veil of psionic energy to protect them from prying alien forces.

    Now that they were over it, they could see the purple color draining from Monteux' surface. The progenitor's death had vastly weakened the aliens' control. Yet Lan Jue and the others were not pleased with the situation. They knew how cunning and lethal the alien planets were. What were they planning? If all of this was just to buy time, then the aliens sacrificed a great deal for an unclear objective.

    Lan Jue was burdened with these questions as Zeus-1 rocketed off into space.

    "Make your way into the interior and start the scanners." Lan Jue told Su Xiaosu.

    "Aye, aye!" She replied immediately and before long their equipment was sweeping the heavens for any sign of the alien home worlds.

    "Don't get flustered. You have to maintain calm no matter the situation." Jue Di had walked over to Lan Jue's side and spoke quietly with him.

    Lan Jue handed over the black vital crystal they acquired. "Father, do you think this might be able to help you?"

    It was a meter across and shaped like a hexagon. It flooded the cockpit with rich vital energy the moment he pulled it out, nearly staggering everyone nearby. However, interspersed within that energy was a twisted energy, something evil that thirsted for murder and destruction.

    1. In Chinese medicine theory they refer to the 'root and branch.' In diseases the root is the primary cause of the disease, while the branch is it symptoms and manifestations. For instance, in the case of a fever the root is Wind-Heat (a viral infection) and the branch is absence of sweating, high temperature, headache and so forth. The underpinning theory of medicine in China is to treat the root of the disease primarily, dealing only with the branches tangentially or if they are serious enough to cause the patient danger. As an example, in the case of dysentery you would want to stop diarrhea and replenish fluids before attacking the root cause of the disease (expelling the pathogen) because the symptoms can kill your patient.
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